The King of Zion Comes

Key Verse: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”
—Zechariah 9:9

Selected Scripture:
Zechariah 9:9-12

RECALLING THE ACCOUNTS recorded in the New Testament in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, and Luke 19:28-40, our Lord Jesus and his chosen disciples were traveling to Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover. With the Lord were a considerable number of followers who had come with him from Jericho to the area of the Mount of Olives. Others came from Jerusalem to meet him. When this multitude reached Bethphage, a village adjacent to the Mount of Olives, Jesus stopped and sent two of his disciples to another town close by to bring him a female ass, or donkey, and its young colt. He was about to present himself to the people after the manner of their kings of the past, who some historians note often rode in triumph on white donkeys.

It is important to understand that Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem five days before his crucifixion was done in fulfillment of prophecy according to the word of our Heavenly Father as given in the Old Testament. In this regard, two prophecies, Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9, combine in testimony to that which is recorded in Matthew 21:5. It was in fulfillment of the prediction of the latter prophecy, our Key Verse, that Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem in the above-described manner.

Devout Jews were familiar with these prophecies, and for centuries had waited for their fulfillment. Now that the due time had come, it was necessary, according to the divine program, that our Lord should literally carry out what the prophets had foretold. (Matt. 21:4) Israel then would be without excuse in their rejection of him, though in the future that day shall come when their blindness shall be turned away and a New Covenant established with them.—Rom. 11:25-27

The multitudes accompanying Jesus seemed to catch the spirit of the occasion. As they shouted, “Hosanna to the son of David,” the Messiah, they made a royal pathway for him, some spreading their garments, which was a custom amongst various peoples for long centuries to thus treat their honored rulers. Others cut tree branches to lay before him from nearby palm trees, symbolic of rejoicing and honor.—Matt. 21:8,9

Though these events had a momentary impact on those gathered, they were evidently greatly disappointed that Jesus did not immediately overthrow the corrupt Jewish leaders and set up his righteous kingdom. As a nation, Israel failed to receive their King because, as Jesus stated, “Thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” (Luke 19:44) Thus, they were left in blindness, because their hearts were hardened, and they could not see the Truth.—John 12:40; Heb. 11:25

Israel and their experiences were pictures of the fact that the entire world, for the most part, does not yet recognize the great Messianic work of Christ Jesus, the great “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” (Rev. 19:16) However, true “Israelites indeed” understand the importance of these things. We rejoice in the knowledge that the righteous reign of Jesus will soon begin, for the purpose of bringing all of mankind back into harmony with God, their Creator.—I Cor. 15:25